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Fun Outdoor Beach Activities for Kids and Adults

Oct 10 20
by Julia Sayers Gokhale
beach activities

A trip to the beach is the perfect vacation to socially distance, since it’s an outdoor destination where the main attractions are fresh air, sand, and sun. But not everyone is content to just lie on the beach all day – especially if you’re traveling with kids. With some family fun centers, attractions, shops, and […]

Find Your Peace at the Best Secluded Beaches Along the Gulf Coast

Oct 2 20
by Julia Sayers Gokhale
The best secluded beaches on Florida and Alabama's Gulf Coast

More and more people are flocking to the beach as domestic and outdoor tourism rises, which means several coastal areas are seeing an increase in visitors. While the benefit of a beach vacation during the COVID-19 pandemic is that it allows for relatively safe travel, you still don’t want to be around large crowds, even […]

Thunder Beach Bikers’ Rally Rolls into PCB Every Spring and Fall

Sep 18 20
by S. Lynne
Thunder Beach motorcycle rally biker with his dog riding behind at The Chateau in Panama City Beach

Twice a year, thousands of bikers wheel into Panama City Beach, Florida, for the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally. Held in spring (late April or early May) and fall (mid-October), the five-day event is huge, regularly featuring more than 200 vendors and exhibitors. With no gate fees, no admission charges, and no charge for parking, Thunder […]

Destin Fishing Rodeo Celebrates Seafood Every October

Sep 17 20
by S. Lynne
Children and Miss Destin standing on the dock with a giant tuna at the Destin Fishing Rodeo

Described as “the ultimate fishing tournament for saltwater anglers of all ages,” the Destin Fishing Rodeo takes place every day during the month of October, features more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, and attracts some 30,000 fishermen annually. Just about every kind of game fish is recognized with awards during the rodeo, so no […]

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Boat Launches

Sep 14 20
by Lisa Milberger Moore

Fort Morgan Public Boat Launch Fort Morgan’s Public Boat Launch provides courtesy access to the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. With multiple slips allowing four boats to be launched or retrieved simultaneously, boating enthusiasts can come and go with ease. Ten parking spots allow for individuals or groups to meet for a day […]

Things To Do in Gulf Shores

Sep 14 20
by Amber Garrett

With more than 32 miles of sugar-white beaches and rolling sand dunes, it’s no wonder Gulf Shores is one of the South’s best vacation spots. The main attraction is the beach, but many more family-friendly options await. Spend the day at Gulf State Park, where you can visit the largest pier on the Gulf of […]

Fort Morgan: Off the Beaten Path But Worth the Trip

Sep 14 20
by S. Lynne

You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy a trip to Fort Morgan. Located on Mobile Point, a little more than 20 miles from Gulf Shores, it’s off the beaten path but definitely worth the trip. Completed in 1834, the fort was designed to control the main ship channel into Mobile Bay, so […]

Beach Wedding Cost: Keep Your Budget on Track

Aug 26 20
by Darcie Plowden
Beach wedding setup with blue-covered white chairs and arch decorated with sand dollars

There are literally hundreds of decisions to be made when planning a wedding. The first one is deciding where you want to get married. For those of us in love with the sugar-white sands of the Gulf Coast, a beach wedding is an ideal way to personalize the celebration. And the icing on the wedding […]

Beach Wedding Checklist

Aug 25 20
by S. Lynne
Beach wedding checklist

  Both romantic and practical, beach weddings are popular with busy couples who want their big day to stand out from the crowd. And the white sands and emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico form a dramatic backdrop that’s guaranteed to make your wedding memorable. Other attractive Gulf Coast venues include lush tropical gardens, […]

Discover Underwater Wonders at Navarre Beach Diving Reefs

Aug 18 20
by Chris Chatelain
Diver exploring the artificial reef in the Gulf off the coast of Navarre Beach

(Reef photos courtesy of Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary and Navarre Beach Marine Science Station.) Take a look from the balcony of your Navarre beachfront condo or from a beach chair on the sugar-white sands, and there’s no denying that Navarre Beach boasts a natural beauty that stands above most other Northwest Florida vacation destinations. But there […]

Thrilling Yet Relaxing, a Destin Dolphin Cruise Delivers on Family Fun!

Jun 15 20
by Chris Chatelain

On your next trip to Destin, why restrict all your fun to the beach? The Gulf of Mexico is home to thousands of marine creatures, and they offer plenty to explore beyond the water’s edge. But few inhabitants of the Gulf capture the imagination as well as dolphins. With their mouths curved into permanent smiles, […]

Jellyfish Facts: Safety Tips, Sting First Aid, and Fun Things To Know

May 21 20
by S. Lynne
A trio og blue-tinted moon jellyfish

Safely exhibited behind the glass of an aquarium, jellyfish, with their fluorescent colors, spots, stripes, and other markings, can be real crowd pleasers. However, a close encounter with a jellyfish in the ocean or on the beach can have painful consequences for vacationers. The good news is that these stinging nuisances, which are found abundantly […]

Beach Vacation Rentals Vs Hotels: Pros and Cons of Each

May 1 20
by Chris Chatelain
Row of colorful beach vacation rentals

Where you stay on vacation truly can make or break your experience. Booking a hotel room has been the traditional vacation practice for decades, and it’s an economical choice for a short stay. But vacation rentals – private homes and condominiums, typically located in residential areas – offer a different experience. Rentals not only feel […]

Crab Island: Submerged Sandbar Is Destin Hot Spot

Mar 30 20
by S. Lynne

Visited Crab Island yet? If so, you know it’s the hot spot locals go to when craving a breezy, fun day on the water. Not really an island at all, this popular Destin gathering spot is actually a submerged sandbar. Located on the bay side of Marler Bridge, the sand bar is covered in shallow […]

She Sells Seashells But What Is a Seashell Anyway?

Mar 27 20
by Charlie Peay
Seashells Gathered from a beach in Destin, Florida

Did you know that seashells belong to the kingdom known as Mollusca? Most Mollusca are soft, slug-like creatures with a hard external shell that helps protect them in their ocean environment. It’s this outer shell that is more commonly known as a seashell. The shell itself is primarily composed of calcium carbonate, which is secreted over time […]

5 Tips for Knowing When To Buy Travel Insurance

Mar 24 20
by Jennifer Merritt

You’ve picked your dream beach destination, found a vacation rental, and you’re booking your stay, but inevitably you’ve got one more decision to make: Should you or shouldn’t you buy travel insurance. What would happen to your beach vacation investment in the event of a tropical storm or an unforeseen illness? What if you have […]

Parasailing in Destin – Gravity-Defying Thrills and Bird’s-Eye Views

Dec 2 19
by Chris Chatelain

While Destin, Florida might be well known for the spectacular Gulf views from its sugar-white beaches, there’s another vantage point that provides even better views – and way more thrills as well. That’s the one from above via parasailing. A Unique Perspective Seeing this popular beach destination from 400 feet in the air provides the […]

Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show: Exciting 2019 Season Closes in Style

Oct 17 19
by S. Lynne
The Blue Angels flying in the Diamond 360 formation

On November 8 and 9, Naval Air Station Pensacola will welcome the Blue Angels back to the base for their homecoming air shows. The Friday and Saturday shows will mark the Angels’ 73rd anniversary. Since 1946, they have been traveling the country, wowing audiences with their precision flight formations (sometimes bringing them as close to each […]

These Dog-Friendly Beaches Welcome Your Furry Friends

Sep 17 19
by S. Lynne
Dog in sunglasses sitting on a beach chair at a dog-friendly beach

He or she may be your family’s best friend, but when it comes to including Fido or Fifi on your next jaunt to the beach, knowing where your pooch will be welcome takes a little extra planning. While it’s true that many Florida and Alabama beaches don’t allow dogs, there are still plenty of dog-friendly […]

National Shrimp Festival Brings Fall Fun to Gulf Shores

Sep 16 19
by S. Lynne
Grilled shrimp and vegetable kabobs at the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores

One of the most popular events on the Alabama coast returns to Gulf Shores this fall. Scheduled for October 10-13, the 48th annual National Shrimp Festival is expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors to the city. Founded in 1971 to lure tourists to Alabama beaches during the off-season, the Gulf Shores event has since […]

Boardwalk Beach Resort Weddings: Say “I Do” on the White Sands in Panama City

Aug 25 19
by S. Lynne
Boardwalk Beach Resort bride with veil and groom in light-colored suit

Whoever said life is all about the journey rather than the destination clearly did not have a Boardwalk Beach Resort wedding in Panama City. Close your eyes and picture you and your partner, the bridal party, and the groomsmen having fun taking photos while the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico. Think of how […]

Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest: A Great Excuse for a Fall Vacation!

Jul 15 19
by S. Lynne
Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest glass of beer on the beach with the Gulf in the background

It’s not too early to start thinking about raising a glass or two at the Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest. Held every fall at The Village of Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin’s popular shopping and entertainment venue, the festival has earned a reputation as the “Best Beer Fest on the Emerald Coast.” Scheduled this year for October 11 […]

Forgotten Coast en Plein Air Paint-Out Returns to Cape San Blas, Florida

Apr 12 19
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Example of En Plein Air painting for Forgotten Coast en Plein Air Paint-Out

Internationally acclaimed artists will flock to Cape San Blas for 10 days, beginning May 3, for the Forgotten Coast en Plein Air, America’s Great Paint-Out. Hailed as being among the most prestigious events of its kind, the paint-out features professional artists capturing scenes from Florida’s Forgotten Coast on canvas. Celebrating the Recovering Environment This year’s […]

Highway 30A Songwriters Festival Brings Stars to the Beach

Nov 2 18
by S. Lynne
30A Songwriters Festival big audience in Gulf Place Amphitheater

Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, and Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals head the exciting lineup of more than 175 performers participating in the 2019 Highway 30A Songwriters Festival. Scheduled for January 18–21, the star-studded event also features Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Gregory Alan Isakov, Suzy Bogguss, Amanda Shires, Shawn Mullins, Livingston Taylor, John Fullbright, The Secret Sisters, Robyn […]

Gulf Coast Fishing in Northwest Florida and Alabama – A Year-Round Affair

Aug 16 18
by S. Lynne
fishing boat on the water for Gulf Coast fishing blog

It’s a fact that the sugar-white sands and blue-green waters of the Northwest Florida and Alabama Gulf coasts attract millions of visitors each year. But did you know that these locations also offer some of the best fishing in the world? In fact, the fishing fun is just as bountiful as sunshine here. And you […]

10 Top Things To Do in Clearwater Beach

Aug 15 18
by S. Lynne
Pine-shaded spot on white-sand beach at Fort De Soto State Park near Clearwater, Florida

Clearwater Beach is the stuff that postcards are made of — a Florida vacation destination that offers picturesque blue waters so clean and clear you can see through to the bottom. But while it is visually stunning and filled with enough natural beauty to make you forget about the rest of the world, there is much […]

10 Not-To-Miss Things To Do Along Highway 30A

Aug 15 18
by S. Lynne
Yellow-flowering shrubs line a hill above the beach and Gulf at Topsail Hill State Park in Northwest Florida.

While most visitors are naturally drawn to the beautiful beaches when booking a stay on Highway 30A, they quickly realize that there is much more fun and adventure to be had than a simple day at the beach. This renowned location is bursting with natural beauty, serene scenery, and a playful nature. In fact, staying at a beach […]

Discover Florida’s Forgotten Coast

Aug 9 18
by S. Lynne
Majestic sand dunes at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Cape San Blas

The natural unspoiled environment known as “Florida’s Forgotten Coast,” which includes the quiet coastal communities of Apalachicola, St. George Island, Mexico Beach, Cape San Blas, and Carabelle, offers a unique look into the rich traditions of Florida’s Gulf Coast. This colorful area is best known for its excellent oysters, superb fishing, and mouth-watering seafood, but there […]

Parasailing in Gulf Shores — Take Your Senses for a Ride

May 16 18
by Chris Chatelain
Parasailing through a bright-blue sky over a grove of leafy palm trees

Imagine you’re a bird soaring above the sparkling Gulf of Mexico, just where the waters meet the white-sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. What would you see? Maybe schools of fish swimming below, or a pod of dolphins playing a few hundred feet under your toes. Perhaps you’d catch a glimpse of sea turtles nesting […]

Siesta Fiesta Art Festival Celebrates 40 Years With Big Block Party

Mar 20 18
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Painting of sunset over the water, on display at Siesta Key's Siesta Fiesta

Celebrate the end of Siesta Key’s peak season in block-party style with the 40th annual Siesta Fiesta, April 28-29, 2018. The outdoor street fair, which is set up over an entire block at Ocean Boulevard and Beach Road, features more than 200 of the country’s most talented artists and crafters. The collections of artwork are […]